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Biosecurity on Valentine’s Day

Don’t surprise your loved one with weeds this Valentine’s Day.

Flowers are the number one gift given on Valentine’s Day, and as always, Sydney Flower Market and local florists will be brimming with beautiful blossoms. But those bouquets can sometimes include species that have the potential to threaten our bushland and waterways.

Emily McCarthy, Biosecurity Officer from Strathfield Municipal Council, will be at the Market on Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th February, inspecting stalls to ensure that favourite ‘filler’ weed species like asparagus fern, turkey rhubarb, privet and olive species are not being sold or distributed. Emily has a crucial role in protecting the state of NSW from the spread of invasive weed species, as the Flower Market accounts for 75% of the wholesale cut flower trade in NSW.

“The stall holders have been collaborating well with Strathfield Council to implement best practice at Sydney Flower Market. I’ve noticed a steady reduction in the quantity of invasive plant  weed species being sold commercially to both the general public and florists over the last 10 months, which is a really positive outcome for the economy, community and environment”, said Emily.

Weed officers and inspectors around the region will have an important role in conveying and enforcing the provisions of the new legislation, and will be visiting florists over the Valentine’s Day period in a regional effort coordinated by Greater Sydney Weeds Action Program project officer, Nicola Dixon.

What can you do to help nip the problem in the bud? Ask your flower retailer whether any of the species you are buying have weedy potential. If you would like to make a submission on the draft Greater Sydney Strategic Weed Management Plan, please visit